‘Work in Action’: Adams County College Works to Reduce Summer Melt

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU), Front Range Community College, and Adams County Workforce and Business Center have partnered to offer a unique summer employment opportunity that doubles as both a Summer Bridge Program and provides Intrusive Advising for students who are enrolling to attend either of the campuses. This effort targets students at risk of melting off over the summer.

Over the last two years, 86% of the youth who participated in the program are students of color, many of which were also low-income.

Pictured here: Will Mellion, Metro State University; Brett Schager, Adams County Workforce & Business Center; and Becky Hoffman, ACYI CEO

An Adams County College Works Scholar experiences a summer of exposure to MSU Denver or Front Range Community College by working in an on-campus job that often pertains to their major or field of study. In addition to employment, scholars expand their perspective by participating in workshops led by Peer Mentors that will compliment their professional development and first year preparation. Students have access to resources that equip them to enter college generally feeling prepared and ready to further their education.

Over the last two years, this partnership has worked to increase post-secondary enrollment of students at risk of melting off over the summer. The team has started off with small cohorts to ensure that this intervention would work for their target population: youth located within high-need zipcodes qualifying for Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) who are at risk of melting off over the summer. The idea is that if these interventions prove to be successful, they can be scaled up to target and serve even more students within this population.

Over the last two years, the program has shown success for youth who have gone through the program.

93% of young people who entered the program within the last two years are currently enrolled in a post-secondary program.

Over half of these young people got work-study positions in the same office they worked in through the Adams County Works program, allowing them to maintain their employment throughout their time in their post-secondary program. Two youth of the 2017 cohort currently serve as peer mentors for the program; one is a Technology Enabled Girl Ambassador (TEGA) with ACYI; and one received the Adams County Mayors and Commissioners Youth Award.

With the support of the Adams County Works Program, young people at risk of melting off over the summer are increasing their likelihood to make it to their post-secondary programs in the fall. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of youth entering the program more than doubled, and the team hopes to continue growing to ensue more young people are enrolling in post-secondary programs, make it past their first year, and ultimately graduate with the skills and credentials needed to support their families and serve as productive members of our community.

For more information about the MSU Denver College Works Opportunity, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the Front Range Community College Works Opportunity, please contact hannah.brown@frontrange.edu.

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